Critics had sound reason to be a little apprehensive at last night’s press performance of Theatre of Blood at the National. The play, adapted by Shockheaded Peter creators Improbable Theatre from the 1973 cult film, is about a Shakespearean actor who wreaks bloody revenge on the hacks who derided him. From the stalls, Michael Billington, Charles Spencer, Benedict Nightingale, Nicholas de Jongh and Quentin Letts watched as their fictional counterparts from the Guardian, Telegraph, Times, Evening Standard and Daily Mail were despatched one by one with gory grand guignol glee. Critics are only human, cried one while pleading for his life. “An opinion I find myself struggling to share,” intones Jim Broadbent’s hammy thesp before literally sticking it to him. Not so surprising then that one journo should nervously enquire at the NT-hosted interval drinks, “Do you think it’s safe to drink the wine?”